My Style: Mel DeBarge

Portrait of deejay Mel DeBarge

Photo: Courtesy of Mel DeBarge

The one image that defined your approach to style...

The image of Run DMC, where they’re standing around in these amazing leather jackets and fedoras, holding a boom box.

Please describe your style in three words.

Black, classic, timeless.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Wearing ill-fitting trousers.

Which city has the best-dressed men?

Paris, Tokyo, New York.

Do you believe in role models?


What are your favourite fabrics?

Leather and cashmere/wool blend.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

Floral embroidery on anything is NOT cool — unless you’re getting married! (laughs)

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

I really feel like I’m both, it depends on the day!

What are the rules in the way you dress?

I try not to think about it too much. I just let my style come naturally and don’t feel self-conscious about what I’m wearing.

Celebrities and style...

Don’t always go together! Just because you’re a celebrity, doesn’t mean you have style.

Name one garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?

My Phillip Lim leather jacket.

What is the first thing you notice on a man?

His shoes.

Who taught you what you know about style?

I wouldn’t say anyone taught me about style, but I’m definitely influenced by artists I look up to — anyone from Michael Jackson to Run DMC!

The three essential things a man should know about style are...

Always have great-fitting pants, don't be afraid to invest in QUALITY pieces, and don't be afraid to accessorise!

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I only have classic pieces in my closet that I wear all the time, so I don’t really have to overthink getting dressed in the morning. I’ve cut my wardrobe down to only pieces I love, so I just make sure everything is clean and properly pressed.

What is your biggest regret?

I try to live life without regrets, but everything is a learning process and experience. I guess I'd say that I should have followed my dreams earlier, but it’s not a regret.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Know the colours that complement you, have a great tailor to visit, and only wear clothes that are going to highlight your best assets.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

The only ritual I have is that I always shop alone… and I listen to my heart and NOT my wallet.

We will never see you wearing...

Lime green pants and any kind of tie!

Which new designers do you follow and why?

LOVE Phillip Lim — he’s not really new, but his fit is just amazing. I also like En Noir, and Tomohiro Sato’s designs are crazy.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

I’d have to say Ralph Lauren — I love him! He just always seems to make everything he wears work, and is so classic.

The only article of clothing that a man needs to pay close attention to is...

He should be paying attention to the entire outfit, but most importantly, his pants!

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

Phillip Lim leather jacket, of course. I love my Givenchy bomber jacket and my En Noir leather sweats. Can’t wait for the fall!

Which fashion house never fails to impress you?

KTZ, Alexander Wang, Marc Jacobs, and, of course, Phillip Lim.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

It can be, but once you find that right middle ground, comfort CAN be style. Nothing better than someone who looks stylish, yet comfortable!

Who would you like to recommend for My Style€?

My music colleague Boy/Friend!

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

“Do what you love, and then find someone to pay you for it.”

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